Quarterback Zach Collaros settles into role as mentor with Bombers
Published Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:35PM CST Last Updated Wednesday, October 16, 2019 6:05PM CST
WINNIPEG -- Zach Collaros began the 2013 CFL campaign, his rookie season in the league, behind veteran Ricky Ray on the Toronto Argonauts quarterbacking depth chart.
“Just trying to absorb as much as I could from Ricky,” he said. “Just tried to absorb as much as I possibly could, you know learn the playbook, and just be ready if given the opportunity."
His career seems to have come full circle. Now in his seventh year of professional ball in Canada - eight if you count a single game played in 2012 - the 31-year-old is taking on a new role: mentor.
"It's always weird when you're used to being the youngest guy in the room, and then you become the oldest guy in the room,” he said.
The Steubenville, Ohio, product is seven years older than Chris Streveler, the Bombers’ number one pivot, and eight years more senior than quarterbacks Sean McGuire and Trevor Knight.
“Any wisdom I can pass along to these younger guys about this league, about defences, about different things, I'm going to try to do,” Collaros said.
Offensive coordinator Paul Lapolice appreciates what the veteran can bring to the team.
"Zach made a point to one of the receivers today and that was excellent, and we try to encourage more of that,” he said. “What we try to do in our quarterback room is it's not just me talking and Buck talking, it's anybody.
Collaros is committed to this new role with Winnipeg.
"I told (head coach Mike O’Shea) when I got here, I'm going to do whatever you ask me to do, so that's what I'm going to do," he said.
O’Shea said Collaros is “the type of guy that can come in and fit right in with a group of guys in that quarterback room,”
“And I would say we do have an easy room, in terms of the group of guys we've assembled are all of that character where they're looking to get better all the time."
Despite taking part in Wednesday’s practice, Collaros was on the Bombers’ one-game injured list. They’ll take on the Stampeders in Calgary on Saturday night.